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Nov 19 2021

Lieutenant General von Sandrart assumes command of Multinational Corps Northeast

SZCZECIN, Poland - On 19 November, German Army Lieutenant General Jürgen-Joachim von Sandrart relieved the Polish Army Lieutenant General Sławomir Wojciechowski as Commander Multinational Corps Northeast (MNC NE) during a change-of-command ceremony at Baltic Barracks. The Corps Commander post rotates every three years between German and Polish general officers.

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Multinational troops on parade ground at Baltic Barracks / Photo by PAO MNC NE
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GEN Vollmer and LTG Wojciechowski salute the Corps colours / Photo by PAO MNC NE

Commander Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum GEN Jörg Vollmer presided over the ceremony, highlighting the critical role Multinational Corps Northeast plays in the NATO Force Structure. "Multinational Corps Northeast is our key unit in the Baltic Sea region. In peacetime, crisis and conflict, this Corps is ready. It has a command and control structure which is already in place. There is nothing that has to be started from scratch, and this is a unique feature," the General said.

In his final address, LTG Wojciechowski emphasized that in the last three years the Corps had remained at the centre of adaptation and change across the Alliance's north-eastern flank:

Through the joint effort of many talented people, the Corps continued to develop, transforming into the only Regional Land Component Command in the NATO Force Structure; a command which is – without question – the most specialized headquarters to ever serve the Alliance in this portion of Europe.

LTG Wojciechowski underlined that Multinational Corps Northeast had grown far beyond its headquarters in Szczecin, Poland, encompassing two multinational divisions (North East in Poland and North in Latvia), four National Home Defence Brigade Headquarters in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, four multinational enhanced Forward Presence Battle Groups and six NATO Force Integration Units. The outgoing Commander spoke highly of superiors, subordinates and partners who had contributed to the increase of synergy within MNC NE's extended chain of command.

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A guard of honour on parade ground / Photo by PAO MNC NE
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Multinational troops on parade ground / Photo by PAO MNC NE
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Polish military orchestra on parade ground / Photo by PAO MNC NE
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LTG von Sandrart assumes command of Multinational Corps Northeast / Photo by PAO MNC NE
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From the right: LTG von Sandrart, GEN Vollmer, LTG Wojciechowski, CWO Hamilton / Photo by PAO MNC NE

While bringing his remarks to a close, LTG Wojciechowski called for enhancing regional partnerships, and pointed out the importance of adopting regional perspectives in decision-making processes within NATO: "As the regional representatives of the Alliance, we need to advocate for a better balance between regional and expeditionary approaches so that NATO members can more effectively train together and improve the overall integration within the NATO Force Structure."

In a media statement following the ceremony, LTG von Sandrart expressed his pride in joining Multinational Corps Northeast. He spoke highly of the Corps' and the former Commander's accomplishments. At the same time, the General affirmed his commitment to the further development of NATO's deterrence and defence posture in the region:

I am dedicated to build upon this firm foundation I was given by my predecessor and to continue contributing to Baltic security with the capable, adaptable and responsive Multinational Corps Northeast.

LTG von Sandrart, former Commander 1 Armoured Division (Oldenburg, Germany) began his career as a conscript in 1982. Among other leadership roles, von Sandrart commanded 41 Armoured Mechanized Infantry Brigade (Torgelow, Germany) and 93 Tank Demonstration Battalion (Munster, Germany). His long military career includes an assignment at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe as Chief J7 and Deputy Chief of Staff as well as deployments to Bosnia and Herzegovina and to Afghanistan. The General has been awarded both German and NATO honours.

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LTG Jürgen-Joachim von Sandrart / Photo by PAO MNC NE
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A press statement by GEN Vollmer, LTG von Sandrart and LTG Wojciechowski / Photo by PAO MNC NE
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LTG Wojciechowski leaves parade ground / Photo by PAO MNC NE

Headquartered in Szczecin (Poland), Multinational Corps Northeast is the only Regional Land Component Command in the NATO Force Structure, providing deterrence and defence across the Baltic Sea region. Consequently, the Corps Command has responsibility for land forces operating within the NATO framework in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. It is in charge of the NATO ground troops already deployed there. If need be, the Corps Command is ready to exercise command and control over many more forces, including land elements of the NATO Response Force together with its flagship 'spearhead'. The Command is fully trained to react at very short notice and take charge of Allied land operations across the Baltic Sea region.

Story by Multinational Corps Northeast Public Affairs Office

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